Report of the Secretary-General on the activities of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (S / 2021/1091) – Nigeria

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Introduction

1. This report covers the period 18 June to 21 December 2021 and contains an overview of developments and trends in West Africa and the Sahel and the activities of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), including with regard to the progress made in the implementation of the United Nations integrated strategy for the Sahel. In addition, it includes an update on the situation in the Lake Chad basin, in accordance with the Security Council resolution. 2349 (2017).

II. Developments and trends in West Africa and the Sahel

2. After the conclusion of the 2020-2021 electoral cycles, democratic consolidation in the region has remained inconsistent. A coup d’état took place in Guinea following a second coup in Mali. In contrast, a peaceful and credible presidential election was held in Cape Verde, setting a positive example for democracy.

3. Dialogue processes continued in Burkina Faso, Senegal and Togo to reach consensus on political and security issues. The conciliatory gestures of the presidents of Benin and Côte d’Ivoire have eased political tensions in the two countries. Constitutional reform processes in The Gambia and Guinea-Bissau have not progressed in polarized political climates. Transitional justice processes in Liberia and The Gambia sparked national conversations about justice, accountability and reconciliation. In this context, the commitment expressed by the Heads of State of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to review and update Protocol A / SP1 / 12/01 on democracy and good governance additional to the Protocol Relating to the Conflict Management Mechanism Prevention, management, resolution, peacekeeping and security seem to indicate ECOWAS intention to address the underlying grievances related to the governance, failure to respect presidential term limits and unconstitutional changes of government.

4. On the security front, large-scale coordinated attacks by armed terrorist and extremist groups against military and civilian targets continued. The third meeting of the Forum of Governors of the Lake Chad Basin for regional cooperation in stabilization, peacebuilding and sustainable development and the third meeting of governors of the border regions of Liptako-Gourma enabled stakeholders to discuss trans-regional and inter-municipal cooperation in order to respond to and address the root causes of insecurity, which continued to cause massive loss of human life, displacement and violations of children’s right to education. Meanwhile, increased attention and attention has been paid to the potential impact on neighboring countries, including those in the Sahel, of the withdrawal of foreign forces, foreign fighters and mercenaries from Libya and elsewhere.

5. Despite the resumption of growth in the economies of the sub-region, the lack of access to essential services and socioeconomic inequalities, aggravated by the effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, have triggered protests in many countries.


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